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On the Journey to Jerusalem
Rev. Jason Butterick shares the start of Jesus's journey to Jerusalem, which comprises ten chapters, approximately 40 percent of the Gospel of Luke. Jesus "sets his face to go" there, knowing that his death awaits him. We see a more determined Jesus, often confronting increasing animosity and tension between his teachings and actions and the status quo of the religious authorities. In another unique encounter, Jesus takes time to see, have compassion, and tell ten lepers to go be seen by a priest, required to end their outcast status. On the way, they are healed, but only a Samaritan returns to give thanks. Jesus could have stopped lifting up the lowly when Jerusalem awaits his fate, but he did not. He kept his commitment to noticing and responding to the lowly. Are we willing, in our life's journey, to stop and give thanks, and to also respond to the needs of others along our way?
Parables from the Underside
Rev. Jason Butterick explores some of the unique parables we find in Luke's Gospel, including the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the well-known parable of the prodigal son, and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Through these parables, we find Jesus teaching that he came to lift up the lowly. Who are we in these stories? And what is Jesus wanting us to know, think, or do in response?
"Simon, Do You See This Woman?"
Rev. Jason Butterick shares the role of women in the ministry of Jesus and how the gospel of Luke shows us the way Jesus valued women, ministered with them, taught them, and lifted them up. While great strides have been made in equality for women, much work remains to be done. Jesus gives us ways and means to address these systemic issues and an insight into seeing others as children of God. In the story of Martha and Mary, he reveals that women should not feel they need to stay confined to the roles others place them in. At Simon the Pharisees' home, Jesus accepts hospitality, refused by the host but granted by a sinner in the town. Not their sin alone, but their humanity and our need for grace, too. Jesus does not see you as a sinner. Jesus sees you as a person. We should see others the same way, too.
Lifting Up the Lowly
Rev. Jason Butterick introduces the Lenten worship series on the gospel of Luke, based on Adam Hamilton's book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and outlaws. This week we study Luke chapters one and two, revealing that whether young or old, God calls out the rich and powerful, and lifts up the poor and lowly. But what does lowly mean? And is there such a thing in God's plan as too young, or too old?
Get Up and Do Not Be Afraid
Rev. Jason Butterick concludes the series of Spiritual Affective Disorder with the encounter with Peter, James, John, and Jesus upon the mountaintop. Jesus meets with Elijah and Moses, the greatest prophet and greatest teachers of Israel's history. Out of the ordinary comes the extraordinary, revealing who Jesus really is in dazzling white apparel. Sometimes we do not want to leave, or we want to build shrines. But Jesus remains with us, as the encounter vanishes, and we are filled with fear. From here we go back down the mountain, approaching suffering, death, and the resurrection. Transfiguration transform us. How will stay afraid, when Jesus is with you?
Walk This Way
Rev. Jason Butterick shares the spiritual discipline and practice of movement to change our mood and outlook. Research shows that one of the most effective mood boosters is moving our bodies. Stretching, walking, and dancing can send feel-good endorphins coursing through us and the change can feel like a light coming on.
Little Altars Everywhere
Rev. Jason Butterick shares that any time and any place can be the right time and place to worship. Where do you think God's dwelling place is? The Psalmist speaks of longing to be in God's house. Indeed, being in what feels like a sacred place can transform and inspire us. Instead of thinking that finding God requires us to go to a designated place like our church, what if we created spaces that reminded us of the sacred wherever we are? Altars can be anywhere and used anytime.
Make My Day
Rev. Jason Butterick shares what may be a perplexing question God asks: What does God require of us? Rather than a transaction, God wants transformation. When we live our lives with a love for justice, kindness, and humbly walk with God and neighbor. What could be done, if we would make someone's day?
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